Proceedings of the IEEE 48th Electronic Components & Technology Conference, Seattle, Washington ,
May 25-28, 1998.

A Multi-Disciplinary Sophomore Course in Electronics Packaging

James E. Morris
Department of Electrical Engineering
State University of New York at Binghampton, NY

F. Patrick McCluskey
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland, College Park, MD


Electronics packaging has become recognized as a critical technology for the continued growth of the nation's electronics industry.  The field is inherently multi-disciplinary in nature, which makes it difficult for industry to find engineers with the appropriate design skills.  The particular technical challenge of the electronics packaging field is not unique; industrial and academic leaders have long advocated exposure of students to multidisciplinary design experiences on a broader scale.  So for the engineering education community, the sophomore electronics packaging course described below provides an ideal example of exposure to a multidisciplinary field.  For the microelectronics industry, and the packaging and assembly communities in particular, there is the possibility with such a course to introduce electronics packaging to a broader range of students than would be likely to take one within a more specialized program. To reach this broader range, the course is targeted at the sophomore level, where students tend to have a more uniform background before specialization in one of the traditional departmental disciplines.  The course therefore assumes only a basic freshman science and math background as its pre-requisite, making it accessible to all engineering and physical science majors.  To date, most packaging courses have been limited to the graduate level, with only recent migration downwards as senior electives.  The sophomore level course will require the development of new support materials - specifically a textbook, laboratory experiments, a software package, and Internet based modules.  The course philosophy will also be based on the physics-of-failure approach to design for reliability, providing additional exposure to concepts not normally encountered at the undergraduate level.  The materials will be widely demonstrated at national workshops.

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